Oscillating Foils for Energy Harvesting

Speaker: Prof. Jennifer A. Franck, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Date: Nov 8, 2019; Time: 2:30pm Location: UTEB 175

Abstract: The water flow through tidal estuaries create a large source of renewable energy that is highly predictable and close to urban centers, yet mostly untapped in the United States.  This presentation gives an overview of recent efforts to develop a hydrokinetic energy harvesting device well-suited for tidal flows, that is based on the oscillating motion of hydrofoils. Inspired from the flapping flight of birds and bats, an oscillating hydrofoil generates energy through lift generation, which is augmented by a large unsteady leading-edge vortex. This talk will highlight the computational efforts that drove prototype development and will examine the flow physics important for energy capture. It will also discuss the formation and downstream trajectory of the leading-edge vortex, which is important for informing the configuration of oscillating foil arrays. Knowing the path and topology of shed vortices can enable downstream foils to be placed strategically and recapture the kinetic energy of vortices, thus boosting the system efficiency of an oscillating foil array.

Biographical Sketch: Dr. Jennifer Franck is an expert in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and is interested in unsteady flow phenomena and flow control of turbulent flows.  She is currently an Assistant Professor in Engineering Physics at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to moving to Madison, she was on the faculty at Brown University’s School of Engineering for seven years where she won numerous teaching and advising awards.  She received her undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of Virginia, followed by a M.S. and Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology. She was awarded an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship to computationally explore flapping flight mechanisms at Brown University from 2009-2011. Dr. Franck is currently interested in problems related to renewable energy, including wind and tidal energy applications.


Published: November 5, 2019

Categories: Past Seminars

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